Have you been injured on the job and been denied workers’ compensation? While there are various reasons why your claim has been denied, you do have options.
Here are 3 steps you can take after your workers’ comp claim is denied in Pennsylvania.
Before you take the legal route, meet with your employer and their insurance company. It might be that your denial was simply a misunderstanding.
Try to keep things amicable with your employer, even if you believe your claim has been unfairly denied. Keep the door open and you may just be able to resolve the issue without a nasty battle.
If you feel that this just isn’t possible, you’ll need assistance from an impartial third party. In this case, you may undergo alternative dispute resolution. This involves a workers’ compensation judge who will help settle differences between you and your employer through an informal conference, settlement conference or mediation.
To begin this process, you or your employer must file a petition with the PA WC Office of Adjudication. You don’t need an attorney at this point, but it’s always a good idea to have an expert in your corner.
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you pursue the benefits you may deserve. Without an approved claim, neither the employer nor the insurance company has to pay your medical bills, lost wages or accommodate physical limitations when you go back to work. There’s the possibility of losing your job due to your injury or illness and that means losing your income. You may even be ineligible for unemployment if you aren’t available and able to work.
Hiring an attorney won’t jeopardize your job. When you decide to pursue a workers’ comp claim through your lawyer, you’re much less likely to lose your job over concerns that it won’t bode well in court. With an experienced legal team behind you, your employer and their insurer are more likely to take your claim seriously.
Hiring a lawyer to help you with your claim isn’t as expensive as you may think. In fact, we handle workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. That means you only pay us if we win your case.
This is the most formal and complex step to take after your workers’ comp claim is denied. However, you’re entitled to file a claim petition with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to appeal the claim denial. Like the dispute resolution processes that we discussed in step 1, this process involves a Workers’ Compensation judge, but it’s far more difficult than a dispute resolution.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry also recommends hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney for the proceedings. After all, your employer and their insurance company are sure to have experienced representation when you face the judge.
If the judge decides that your claim was rightfully denied, you can then appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. If that appeal is unsuccessful, you can head to the Commonwealth Court, and you will definitely want an experienced attorney by your side as you navigate these advanced steps.
Let Us Help You Appeal Your Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you’ve recently been denied workers’ compensation benefits, we can help you work through the complex world of dispute resolutions and appeals in Pennsylvania. We’ll consult with you on a contingency basis to determine if you have a case and discuss the next steps with you.
Don’t lose your rights to benefits. Contact Malamut & Associates today.